Sometimes we take for granted simple pleasures like a fresh new haircut. Jack King, a hairstyle pro that once managed the manes of Hollywood stars, has come out of retirement to ensure that individuals at Family Hospice Care in California’s Coachella Valley of have the opportunity to get their hair washed, cut and styled. Jack gives people in hospice something to look forward to, and they walk away feeling good about how they look.
Jack King owned a salon in West Los Angeles for years. “I worked in Beverly Hills for 30-40 years. I eventually converted to a children’s hairstylist because no one liked to cut children’s hair and I found it easy,” Jack says while recalling the start to his career. Jack was happily retired, but felt a calling to serve.
Jack started volunteering at Braille Institute in Palm Desert, teaching cooking for blind people. “It helps them become more independent because many are not allowed to cook on their own,” he explains, adding, “I started volunteering for hospice 2-3 years ago, which is really rewarding.”
What does a new ‘do mean for the people who need care and their caregivers? “Getting their hair styled lifts their spirits, and as weird as it sounds, it lifts the spirits of the caregivers and the people around them,” Jack reflects. He recognizes some of the simple needs of those in hospice, but he also has a great admiration for those who tend to these individuals. “The caregivers are great communicators. And they need to be cared for too,” Jack says.
Some people would find the thought of working with individuals who are in the final stages of their life to be unappealing. But Jack is working with hospice patients almost daily. His smile is so warm and comforting to the patients, and he always has a kind word and a joke for the patients while their hair is being styled. Even if the patient is bedridden, he manages to make them feel like royalty. Jack devotes his time to meet with at least five patients a day, giving them all special treatment and attention. His smile and kindhearted personality eases the minds of the patients, all while providing a simple, but necessary, service.
Jack’s work is never done and it keeps him going even through his own health struggles. He never complains, just smiles and remarks that “people are waiting to look good.” This hairstylist knows every square inch of his trade. “I don’t find it challenging,” Jack explains. “It’s a constant learning experience and you have to be flexible. The gift you give to others, you get back yourself. Its good vibrations.”
Jack King is a true Point of Light and a testament to the power of volunteering, putting his talents to work for the benefit of those in dire straits. Jack urges others, “Try it once. Start somewhere. You will be amazed by the reward you receive. “
Do you know someone like Jack making an impact in your community? Nominate them today for the Daily Point of Light award at http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/recognition/dpol/nomination.